It all went a bit ‘Lord of the Flies’ today (thankfully without the death of an obese child). We were all gathered in the playground, awaiting the call to go to lunch. Suddenly, a small group of children, wielding drinking straws, began to chant “We want lunch! We want lunch!”. It quickly became infectious, more children joined in, more straws appeared, the voices grew louder “WE WANT LUNCH! WE WANT LUNCH!”.

I was the only adult there and without an armored riot control vehicle or water cannon to hand, I wasn’t sure what to do. I had visions of being raised aloft and used as a battering ram for access to the canteen. What could a couple of hundred kids do to me though, armed with only bendy straws? Actually, I shudder to think.

With the uprising eventually quashed, we settled down to lunch. I have to admit the kids played a sly and thoroughly convincing practical joke on me. A girl joined us at the table and stared at me. It was a little disconcerting, so after a few minutes, I felt compelled to introduce myself to her. She just continued to stare. I asked why her behaviour was so odd, “she’s mute” a girl told me “she has never spoken”.

“Oh, I see” I said “do you know if she understands me?”. The girl nodded, so I persevered with the ‘starer’. I spoke very slowly to her, “h-e-l-l-o, m-y n-a-m-e i-s T-i-m”. The girl’s face broke into a wide smile “I know” she said.

I thought I’d made a major breakthrough!. Just as I was beginning to think how my surname sounds between the words ‘groundbreaking‘ and  ‘technique’, I realized by the collective laughter that I’d been well and truly ‘kid’ded.


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